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Archive for January, 2011

MTV’s ‘Made’ featured Cyndi Lauper mentoring a gay teen

Today’s episode of MTV’s Made featured the incomparable Cyndi Lauper as she mentored troubled gay teen Eli Medina who wants to become a singer. On the show Eli claims to be “openly fabulous” but had to move out of his parents house after his mother disowned him for being gay.

I’m not a fan of the show (or MTV in general), but I thought this was cute and deserves a gander. I love, love, love Cyndi Lauper and her overflowing of support of the lgbt community. If you don’t all of what this woman has done for us then I behoove you to take some time to type “Cyndi Lauper” and “lgbt” into Google. The wonderment of her soul will amaze you.

A clip from Cyndi and Eli mentoring session is below. If you missed it, the full episode should be available at MTV.com starting tomorrow.

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Funny or Infuriating? – SNL Estro-Maxxx skit

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is demanding action from NBC (now owned by Comcast) concerning a Saturday Night Live skit they found offensive.

The skit in question was called “Estro-Maxxx” and was a faux-commercial about estrogen for transgender women. Male casts members with beards dressed in dresses for comedic relief. The main gag of the joke was that this new drug could turn you into a woman faster. GLAAD wants a public apology from the network and wants all video of the skit removed from the internet and future broadcasting.

I personally thought the skit was kind of funny. I thought the skit was making fun of prescription drugs in general that are typically marketed as the quick-fixes for anything. I also thought they were playing off the fact that many think the transition process for a transgender individual means have a simple surgery and taking a few pills. When the reality of the situation is much more complicated. I don’t think they were trying to make fun of all transgender women or put down an entire community.

Watch the video below and judge for yourself. Is GLAAD justified in taking SNL to task?

SAG Awards: Gay Roundup


The cast of Modern Family (which features gay dads Mitchell and Cameron) took one of the top TV prizes, but other than that there wasn’t much “gay” at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night. Glee’s Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer both lost in the acting categories they were nominated for. Check out the full list of winners below:

MOVIES

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The King’s Speech

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale, The Fighter

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Melissa Leo, The Fighter

TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Modern Family

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Claire Danes, Temple Grandin

Screen Actors Guild Awards 47th Annual Life Achievement Award
Ernest Borgnine

Ugandan lesbian’s deportation halted just in time

In the wake of gay activist’s David Kato’s vicious murder in Uganda, Brenda Namigadde, a Ugandan native and lesbian has faced deportation from the U.K. Uganda is currently in the midst of tension over possible new legislation being called the “Kill the Gays Bill.” If passed openly gay citizens could be imprisoned and certain “homosexual acts” could be punishable by death.

Namigadde lawyers argued that she might face death if she was forced to return, but her case was still pending as she was boarding her flight back home. Luckily the British High Court ruled in her favor just before the plane took off Saturday.

From the NY Times:

A 29-year-old Ugandan woman who says she is a lesbian won a last-minute stay of deportation on Friday night from a British High Court judge who heard her lawyers plead that her life would be at risk if she was forced to return to her homeland.

The judge’s ruling came after Brenda Namigadde, who came to Britain as a student in 2003, had been taken from an immigration detention center outside London to Heathrow Airport ahead of a flight to Kampala, the Ugandan capital. Her lawyer said she had already boarded the flight when immigration officials were notified of the judge’s ruling and then escorted Ms. Namigadde off the aircraft and returned her to the detention center.

Appeals and protests on Ms. Namigadde’s behalf intensified in the past 48 hours after the most outspoken gay rights advocate in Uganda, David Kato, was beaten to death on Wednesday with a hammer at his home outside Kampala. In October, a Kampala tabloid newspaper, Rolling Stone, ran an angry diatribe identifying 100 individuals it described as “Uganda’s top homos.” The article was accompanied by a front-page picture of Mr. Kato and a banner saying, “Hang Them.”

Queer Film Spotlight: ‘Role/Play’

Role/Play is the latest film from queer director Rob Williams (Make the Yuletide Gay, Long-Term Relationship) who also wrote the film. Real-life partners Matthew Montgomery and Steve Callahan star respectively as a famous gay rights activist in the midst of a scandal for cheating on his long-time partner and a soap star in the midst of a sex tape scandal. The two meet and begin a torrid fling while at a gay bed-and-breakfast, both hiding from the press.

The story seems typical. Boy meets boy. Boys hate each other. Hate turns into passion. Boys sleep together. Boys fall for each other. Boy loses boy. Boys learn something about themselves because of the relationship. The reviews are pretty even toned. Some like it, some don’t. You can see for yourself when the DVD is released Feb. 8. (Pre-order it here.)

Check out the trailer:

NKOTB member ‘comes out’ to fans

New Kids on the Block fans take notice! Jonathan Knight is officially out of the closet. He released a statement Saturday on the NKOTB Web site (viewable by members only) where he stressed that he’d never hidden his sexuality and has been out to friends and family for 20 years.

The singer’s sexuality has been in the tabloids a few times before because of speculation about his sexuality, but he was able to silently drift out of the celebrity rumor mill when NKOTB left the spotlight in the ’90s. That is until Knight and the group reunited in 2008.

The rumors hit a fever point when ’80s pop star Tiffany, Knight’s former girlfriend, mentioned that he was gay on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” a couple weeks ago. She and Knight made up through a Twitter exchange, but apparently people began berating him further so he felt the need to officially come out to the public.

Here’s Knight’s full statement:

“I have never been outed by anyone but myself! I did so almost twenty years ago. I never know that I would have to do it all over again publicly just because I reunited with NKOTB! I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay! Apparently the pre requiste to being a gay public figure is to appear on the cover of a magazine with the caption “I am gay”. I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected! My belief is that you live your life by example, and not by a caption on a magazine! If there ever has been any confusion about my sexuality, then you are someone that doesn’t even know me!”

“I love living my life being open and honest, but at this time I choose not to discuss my private life any further! My fellow band members don’t discuss their private lives with their loved ones and I don’t feel that just because I am gay, I should have to discuss mine!”

NKOTB is set to tour with the Back Street Boys this summer. (Those living in Columbus can purchase tickets to their July 24th concert here.)

Queer Film Spotlight: ‘Kaboom’

Kaboom is a new film directed by Gregg Araki about a group of college students on the road to discovering their sexual identities. The movie stars Thomas Dekker (Heroes, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as a young man who considers his sexuality “undeclared,” much like his major. The film is a sort of trippy, sci-fi, teen-angsty version of Twin Peaks, where Araki has said he got his original inspiration for the film. The main character has a disturbing dream, the details of which begin to seep into his real life. He and his friends go on a quest to discover if some mystical is afoot of if it’s all the after effects of ingesting some LSD-laced cookies.

Kaboom was released last year in France and has made a splash several major festivals, including last year’s Cannes Film Festivals and most recently the Sundance Film Festival. A public release in scheduled for Jan. 28 in Manhattan.

Araki is also the director of Mysterious Skin, one of my favorite queer films starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so I am definitely looking forward to getting a chance to look at some of his more recent work. Also some are saying this is probably the first leading bisexual character in a film since Colin Farrell’s character in A Home at the End of the World, making it a significant endeavor as well.

Check out the film’s trailer below: